How to see the Flower Moon in the sky this week from New Jersey

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We all know about May flowers, but the "Flower Moon" is coming to New Jersey this week and this version of the full moon will be visible for those observing the sky on Wednesday and Thursday.

The full Flower Moon will reach peak illumination at 9:53 a.m. eastern time this Thursday according to Old Farmer's Almanac. Even though the moon may be brightest at that time, it will be below the horizon so the best time to view the Flower Moon will be in the evening hours on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Moonrise and Moonset Calculator offered by the Old Farmer's Almanac lets users choose a specific state and city to see when will be the best time to view the moon in their area. For towns such as Paramus, Lodi, Nutley, and many other North Jersey towns, the Flower Moon will reach 100% illumination on Wednesday as it is set to rise at 7:45 p.m. Illumination will shine bright throughout the night on Thursday as well so viewers can get a chance to see the spectacle then if they missed it at peak brightness.

What is the Flower Moon?

May's full moon, nicknamed the flower moon, rises high into the sky Saturday, May 18, 2019, at South Jetty Park in Fort Pierce. The full moon was also a seasonal blue moon, which the Old Farmer's Almanac defines as the third full moon of four full moons to occur in one season. Blue moons occur once every 2.7 years, according to John Bell, director of the Hallstrom Planetarium at Indian River State College.

The Flower Moon gets its name from a number of sources. Indigenous people known as Algonquin have been credited for the name according to Christina Ruddy of The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre in Pikwakanagan, Ontario. Explorer Jonathan Carver also referenced the Flower Moon in his 1798 novel "Travels through the Interior Parts of North America."

Native Americans also have a history with using moon names as the Old Farmer’s Almanac attributes them as one of their sources for moon names. Many may recognize the moon name from Martin Scorsese's most recent film that released in theaters last fall, "Killers of the Flower Moon," which was a tale about the slaughter of a certain Native American tribe.

The next visible full moon is called the Strawberry Moon and can be seen on Friday, June 21.

A Visible Planets calculator is also available on the Old Farmer's Alamac website. A search engine can be used to enter one's state, city or zip code. This week in Northern New Jersey, many planets such as Venus and Jupiter may reach 100% illumination, but rises during early morning hours. Venus and Jupiter both rise at around 5:25 a.m. this week.

This article originally appeared on Flower Moon 2024 in NJ: Date, how to see it and more